impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

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goosey
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impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby goosey » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:16 am

I am blanking here, but how come pleading standards are less liberal after iqbal and twombly??

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GeePee
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Re: impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby GeePee » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:22 am

Under Twombly and Iqbal, conclusory facts are no longer sufficient to lend proof to a claim. We must identify "underlying" facts, throw out other facts or allegations, and then decide if the plaintiff's claim pushes from "merely possible" to "plausible" given that these facts are true.

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kalvano
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Re: impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby kalvano » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:24 am

That's a very good answer.

Your prof will also like it if you mention that Twombly / Iqbal moved everything away from "notice pleading".

dakatz
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Re: impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby dakatz » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:24 am

goosey wrote:I am blanking here, but how come pleading standards are less liberal after iqbal and twombly??


--Helps increase judicial economy
--Don't want frivolous claims to be brought
--Risk of in terrorem litigation when plaintiffs come to court with few facts, and with the sole purpose of getting defendants to settle for reasons other than the merits
--Just an overall general trend of judges encroaching on the territory typically reserved for juries. For example, Anderson v. Liberty Lobby made it so summary judgment should be more reflective of trial, and much of the "action" should be displaced to that stage. I view increased pleading standards as an extension of that trend

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ReesesPieces15
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Re: impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby ReesesPieces15 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:24 am

goosey wrote:I am blanking here, but how come pleading standards are less liberal after iqbal and twombly??


--A well pleaded complaint now may require facts to show plausibility (more than mere possibility but not probability)
--courts will disregard legal conclusions in the complaint

Really Iqbal said when there is such a high stake -- compromising immunity the court can require a little more than just a claim that relief can be sought and Twombly says that when the claim is so complicated (it was an anti trust claim if I recall) that the courts can require facts showing plausibility because discovery is going to be so expensive due to the complicated matter of the claim

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is how we learned it

nleefer
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Re: impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby nleefer » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:25 am

Before those cases the federal courts operated using what was called notice pleading. In essence, all that was necessary to survive a motion to dismiss was to plead enough to place the defendant on notice of what he or she was accused. (A case called Conley stated that a motion to dismiss was only granted if there was no set of facts that could prove the claim.)

Twombly and Iqbal didn't officially move away from notice pleading, but they articulated a new standard in which the plaintiff was required to plead sufficient facts to make the claim at least plausible. These cases did overrule Conley, if I recall.

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mths
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Re: impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby mths » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:28 am

ReesesPieces15 wrote:
goosey wrote:I am blanking here, but how come pleading standards are less liberal after iqbal and twombly??


--A well pleaded complaint now may require facts to show plausibility (more than mere possibility but not probability)
--courts will disregard legal conclusions in the complaint

Really Iqbal said when there is such a high stake -- compromising immunity the court can require a little more than just a claim that relief can be sought and Twombly says that when the claim is so complicated (it was an anti trust claim if I recall) that the courts can require facts showing plausibility because discovery is going to be so expensive due to the complicated matter of the claim

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is how we learned it

Plausibility is the key term.

A complaint needs more than sheer possibility but rather “plausibility”. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action supported by mere conclusory statements are insufficient. Rule 8 shouldn’t lead to unbiased, expensive discovery. The conclusory nature of the respondent’s allegations rather than their extravagant fanciful nature disentitles them to the presumption of truth. Twombly extends to all civil actions, not just anti-trust (this is what Iqbal told us)

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DoubleChecks
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Re: impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby DoubleChecks » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:29 am

great answers in here already, but i didnt see anything on innocent inferences on my skim

under Twombly, if there is an innocent inference that is natural and obvious (as opposed to your liability inference), then your claim will not be deemed "plausible"...so your pleading will have to cast doubt somehow on the innocent inference (for example, in the Twombly case, pleading could have mentioned another email that talked more specifically about conspiracy between the telecom giants...or a whistle blower, etc.)

under Iqbal, it is a bit unclear due to the language the Court uses, but it might have said that an innocent inference that is simply "probable" or "more likely than not" is enough to make your pleading not plausible

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goosey
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Re: impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby goosey » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:35 am

thanks for the repsonses, but here is my confusion:

I understand that it raises the pleading standard, where you have to be more specific, and thereby wind up closer to the rule 9 heightened standard than the regular old pleading standard, but how can this be considered less liberal? is it because now you have more requirements on what you must put in there? Also, how would this relate to rule 11 sanctions? I am reading a model answer where the professor seems to have given brownie points [I see check marks next to it] for saying that rule 11 sanctions are there to encourage good behavior b/c we have liberal pleading standards, or at least we did until iqbal & twombly.

trying to make sense of that..

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DoubleChecks
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Re: impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby DoubleChecks » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:44 am

goosey wrote:thanks for the repsonses, but here is my confusion:

I understand that it raises the pleading standard, where you have to be more specific, and thereby wind up closer to the rule 9 heightened standard than the regular old pleading standard, but how can this be considered less liberal? is it because now you have more requirements on what you must put in there? Also, how would this relate to rule 11 sanctions? I am reading a model answer where the professor seems to have given brownie points [I see check marks next to it] for saying that rule 11 sanctions are there to encourage good behavior b/c we have liberal pleading standards, or at least we did until iqbal & twombly.

trying to make sense of that..


less liberal in the sense that you'd have to plead more nowadays? unlike the notice pleading of Conley, you cant get in on just "any set of facts"...if a lawyer submitted something as bare bones as that (something that'd fly only under Conley), then in today's Twombly/Iqbal world, he might be sanctioned

in the past, maybe R11 were still around as checks because getting into discovery (through pleadings) was so darn easy...so courts maybe wanted lawyers to do some reasonable pre-filing inquiry?

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clintonius
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Re: impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby clintonius » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:45 am

Liberal means generous, as it is used in that context. It's harder to get past the motion to dismiss now, so the pleading standard is less generous, or less liberal.

The rule 11 comment looks to me like it was thrown in pell-mell.

Edit: or yeah, what he said ^

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TobiasFunke
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Re: impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby TobiasFunke » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:46 am

goosey wrote:thanks for the repsonses, but here is my confusion:

I understand that it raises the pleading standard, where you have to be more specific, and thereby wind up closer to the rule 9 heightened standard than the regular old pleading standard, but how can this be considered less liberal? is it because now you have more requirements on what you must put in there? Also, how would this relate to rule 11 sanctions? I am reading a model answer where the professor seems to have given brownie points [I see check marks next to it] for saying that rule 11 sanctions are there to encourage good behavior b/c we have liberal pleading standards, or at least we did until iqbal & twombly.

trying to make sense of that..


It's more liberal because of the contrast with Conley, which basically let anything under the sun fly in under FRCP 8. I'm not sure about the FRCP 11 sanctions, but I'd guess that the sanctions were there to discourage crazy claims while still maintaining a low standard so people with unlikely-but-true claims could still get through the system.

christmas mouse
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Re: impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby christmas mouse » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:50 am

It's less liberal to the P because before as long as the complaint stated facts sufficient to bring a cause of action the suit would go on whereas now they mist plead facts sufficient to show there claim is plausible.
Also legal conclusions were fine back then, but now they are disregarded.
Basically less liberal because more constraints so less claims will get past the pleading the stage and less docket pressure for judges.

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Re: impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby smittytron3k » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:04 am

goosey wrote:thanks for the repsonses, but here is my confusion:

I understand that it raises the pleading standard, where you have to be more specific, and thereby wind up closer to the rule 9 heightened standard than the regular old pleading standard, but how can this be considered less liberal? is it because now you have more requirements on what you must put in there? Also, how would this relate to rule 11 sanctions? I am reading a model answer where the professor seems to have given brownie points [I see check marks next to it] for saying that rule 11 sanctions are there to encourage good behavior b/c we have liberal pleading standards, or at least we did until iqbal & twombly.

trying to make sense of that..


it's less liberal in the sense that fewer cases get past the pleading threshold, and that plausibility pleading serves to screen out cases that would have survived under the notice pleading/conley regime. if we assume an efficiency-based rationale for sanctions (to deter filings that are clearly hopeless and thereby reduce the clog on the courts) then you could sanction a lawyer for submitting a pleading that was hopeless in light of the new pleading standards, particularly if that lawyer failed to do an adequate pre-trial investigation to adduce facts that might have made his pleading plausible.

god why am i still talking about this? i was supposed to have forgotten all this shit last night...

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goosey
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Re: impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby goosey » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:56 am

got it. thanks for the replies everyone!

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Ty Webb
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Re: impact of iqbal & twombly on pleading standards

Postby Ty Webb » Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:11 am

Our professor is something of an "expert" on this topic (speaks all over the city to bar associations about it) and he likes to term it the Twombley/Igbal "two-step":

1)Strike conclusory statements
2)Then figure out whether the pleading is plausible

As mentioned above, this moves the bar to a more substantiated, fact-based means of pleading, since you have to actually show a little bit of the WHY you think there's a claim, rather than just stating that you have a claim. As also mentioned above, this is a less generous standard for plaintiffs.

My prof has also noted that this case is on pace to smash the all-time record as most-cited case in Supreme Court history (and it's not close), so this has obviously had a wide-ranging impact on pleading across the board.




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